Conservation Update, 2015 Jul | Talbert Park, Perters Canyon, Aliso Creek, Esperanza
PLANNING IS UNDERWAY FOR HABITAT RESTORATION AT TWO OC REGIONAL PARKS
USERS’ INPUT IS SOLICITED:
•AT TALBERT: See ocparks.com/parks/talbert/news/details?NewsID=3287&TargetID=57, contact .
•AT PETERS CYN: See ocparks.com/parks/peters/general_development_plan, contact .
ACTION NOW: If you are familiar with either of these parks, please contact its link, above, to have input into the planning for its future.
ALISO CREEK WATERSHED: GOOD NEWS!!!! The new Aliso Canyon Preserve protects two properties, totaling 151 acres, in southerly Laguna Beach. The Preserve is the final open space connection between the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and the sea. It features generally unsullied terrain of chaparral, grassland, and coastal sage scrub, and allows for several important wildlife movement corridors. Several special status plant and animal species are known within a one-mile radius of the study area.
This land was acquired as part of the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Environmental Mitigation Program. The program was negotiated by a coalition of conservation groups led by Friends of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks, to be part of the Measure M2 approved by Orange County voters in November 2006.
CHINO-PUENTE HILLS: NEW LITIGATION SET
Through OCCNPS, CNPS has once again been asked to become a co-petitioner in a lawsuit in OC. This one is against the County of Orange for the Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the proposed Esperanza Hills development. The site, 469 acres of steep hills and canyons, is an unincorporated area surrounded by the City of Yorba Linda and Chino Hills State Park.
The Esperanza Hills development plan goes against good land use planning. Its EIR did not properly analyze project impacts: the project description omitted 2,400 acres of the adjacent State Park, therefore the environmental documents did not properly study, so did not properly propose mitigation for, impacts to the site’s several endangered plant and animal species and threatened habitats. The mitigations that are proposed are markedly insufficient.
• The site’s populations of Braunton’s Milkvetch (Astragalus brauntonii, CRPR 1B.1) and Intermediate Mariposa Lily (Calochortus weedii intermedius, CRPR 1B.2) will be extirpated.
• The site’s stands of Walnut Woodland and Oak Woodland will be severely impacted.
• The development will take another bite out of the already-patchy wildlife corridor formed by natural open spaces in the Chino Hills.
Protect Our Homes and Hills (protectyorbalinda.com), a Yorba Linda residents organization, is the Principal Petitioner. The fiscal sponsor is Hills for Everyone. They asked CNPS to join as a demonstration that a state organization is very concerned about the precedent-setting nature of the project approval, in addition to the native plants and habitats at risk. Six other regional enviro groups have also been invited to be co-petitioners.
ACTION NOW: Donations to support the litigation are welcome. Make checks to Hills For Everyone for the YL Defense, and mail to P.O. Box 9835, Brea CA 92822.
—Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair